Dentist giving back

Granite Falls youth receives braces through Heroes program

Submitted photo Through the Minnesota Heroes Orthodontic Program, Dr. Greg Lecy in Marshall, left, was able to provide Allison Kahler of Granite Falls with braces. Kahler’s father was killed in Afghanistan while serving in the Army.

MARSHALL — It’s been almost 10 years since Sgt. 1st Class Matt Kahler died in Afghanistan, but he hasn’t been forgotten by his family and organizations that support veterans and fallen heroes.

Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program of the Minnesota Dental Foundation has enabled Kahler’s daughter, Allison, to receive braces from Dr. Greg Lecy in Marshall. Her mom, Vicki Patterson of Granite Falls, heard that the Minnesota Dental Foundation had started a program to help Gold Star Families.

“I really appreciate the program,” Patterson said. “I know it takes a lot of effort to coordinate it and fundraise. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”

Dr. Lecy said providing free orthodontic services for Allison is a way of giving back.

“I want to spread awareness so more families will take advantage of this program,” he said.

The Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program is open to any Gold Star Family since 9/11. The program is in collaboration with Smiles Change Lives and the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists. For more information, visit mndental.org or call 800-950-3368.

Allison said she is “definitely” looking forward to getting her braces off this spring. She had them put on in May of 2016.

Allison was only 4 years old when her father died at the age of 29.

“We were stationed in Vicenza, Italy, at the time,” said Patterson.

She said Matt Kahler enlisted in the U.S. Army before graduating from Yellow Medicine East High School in Granite Falls in 1997.

A member of 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, he died of wounds sustained from small arms fire in an Afghan village Jan. 26, 2008.

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